LOS ANGELES — Larry Hagman, whose predatory oil baron J.R. Ewing on television’s long-running nighttime soap opera “Dallas” became a symbol for 1980s greed and coaxed forth a Texas-sized gusher of TV ratings, has died. He was 81.
Hagman, who returned as J.R. in a new edition of “Dallas” this year, passed away Friday afternoon due to complications from his battle with cancer, according to a statement from the family provided to The Associated Press by Warner Bros., producer of “Dallas.”
“Larry was back in his beloved hometown of Dallas, re-enacting the iconic role he loved the most,” the family said. “Larry’s family and closest friends had joined him in Dallas for the Thanksgiving holiday.”
Hagman was diagnosed in 1992 with cirrhosis of the liver and acknowledged that he had drank heavily for years. In 1995, a malignant tumor was discovered on his liver and he underwent a transplant.
The Fort Worth, Texas, native was the son of singer-actress Mary Martin, who starred in such classics as “South Pacific” and “Peter Pan.” Martin was still in her teens when he was born in 1931 during her marriage to attorney Ben Hagman.